Empower farmworkers

IT IS very critical that the farmworkers are empowered.

Farmworkers are among the poorest communities in SA. Despite legislation to protect the tenure rights of those who live on farms, and to secure the labour rights of those who work on them, there has been little improvement in poverty levels since South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994.

"The Land Shall be shared among those who work it."

This tenet in South Africa's Freedom Charter declared that "Restriction of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided among those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger".

This formed the basis of the liberation movement's vision of what land reform would entail in a post-apartheid era.

That was 1955. In 1996 our new Constitution recognised tenure rights as fundamental human rights and entrenched these in the Bill of Rights as follows: "A person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress."

I support the initiative by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, together with the South African Fruits Exporters, to try and empower farmworkers. With this Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, the department needs to make sure that the objective of the CRDP is achieved.

Tshepo Diale, GaRankuwa